A Dose of Reality Part 3


This article was written exclusively for Schizophrenic.com by an anonymous user on SupportGroups.com. He discusses his struggle with schizophrenia, how the disorder began, how it affected his life and what he went through to over come it.

Read Part 1 of this article here and Part 2 here.

My first job out of college was with a very reputable large company. Accepting the position at that company forced me to move away from my parents and live in a new state. Even though I was unsure about this change in my routine I knew I had to be strong and give it a chance because I deserved a better life than the one I was living. I began to focus on myself and made friends with my coworkers. It was a beautiful time. I was working and I was independent. After a year at that company I decided to move closer to family so I moved to another state and started a new job close to my sister.

I made the mistake of thinking that I was “cured” and no longer needed the medication, but when I stopped taking it I felt into a terrible relapse and had to move in with my parents. I had to quit my job and move back to my hometown. Recovery this time around took about 6 months and I have been improving ever since. I have kept a few jobs while being a schizophrenic but it can be tough to be around people all day for me. I have hard time finding a job and keeping it but I keep fighting.

A Continuous Struggle

I know I will have to deal with this illness for the rest of my life but I find strength in my faith. I was not happy with the person I was before schizophrenia came into my life. This disease has really humbled me and I have begun to understand myself better. I find joy in the small things and I feel a deeper connection with my faith and with God. I never once thought “Why me?” because I knew the plan that God had for me was greater than any of individual wants and desires.

I can now say that I don't have paranoia and I that I no longer hear any voices. On top of taking medication, I have started to meditate as well to help clear my mind. I focus on my breathing or repeat a mantra from my faith. I think that this type of practice can very helpful when you are trying to ward off the voices inside your head. I have started a vegan diet and have started to see an immediate change in my physical and mental health. I've also started to walk and exercise to keep fit. Since my diagnosis I have had every reason to give up on myself, but I never will.

There Is Always Hope

To this day I thank my parents and sisters for keeping my illness between them. No one outside our family, except for our doctor, knows that I have schizophrenia. This has helped me a lot in meeting new people and interacting with them because they do not see an ill person. People are able to see me for who I am without the stigma and misconceptions of schizophrenia.

I try to remember that the social anxiety will always be there, but that I should push beyond my comfort zone so that I can live a healthy, normal life. This illness will force you to introspect and to dive deeply into yourself. Push through and always dig deeper than you think you can. You will find, as I did, that your perceived limits are only starting points for a richer and more powerful life.

I don't believe that there is a ‘one medicine fits all’ miracle cure. Medication and therapy are both essential to recovery. I would suggest that everyone with schizophrenia work with their doctor to find the right medication and dosage to treat their individual experience. An important key to recovery is advocating for yourself by making it clear to your doctor what side effects or changes you notice with each medication and which you are willing to tolerate and which you are not.

Apart from the standard treatments there are many ways to cope and live a fruitful life with schizophrenia. Don’t ever feel sorry for yourself, you are greater than this disease and it does not define who you are. Love yourself and don't think of yourself as handicapped. You will go through some very difficult times, but it's all about how you react and who you become as a result of these difficulties that will define you, not schizophrenia. Good luck!